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Human–Animal Bond Generated in a Brief Animal-Assisted Therapy Intervention in Adolescents with Mental Health Disorders

By Maylos Rodrigo-Claverol, Marta Manuel-Canals, Luis Lucio Lobato-Rincón, Natalia Rodriguez-Criado, Maite Roman-Casenave, Elisabet Musull-Dulcet, Esther Rodrigo-Claverol, Josep Pifarré, Yvette Miró-Bernaus

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Category Journal Articles
Abstract

Background: The human–animal bond is crucial for the proper development of animal-assisted therapy (AAT) sessions. However, in specific cases such as in AAT focused on psychiatric patients who are admitted to acute units, there is only a short period of time available to establish this bond. Objectives: To assess the degree of HAB generated after two AAT sessions in adolescents admitted to acute psychiatry units. Methods: A prospective multicenter cohort study aimed at adolescents aged 13 to 17 years admitted to the acute child and adolescent psychiatry unit of three hospitals. Intervention: Two weekly 1 h group sessions of AAT with therapy dogs. Main outcome: The Center for the Study of Animal Wellness Pet Bonding Scale Survey (CSAWPB). Results: One hundred and fourteen adolescents participated. A positive perception of the dog was generated, achieving a good level of bonding and attachment. Conclusions: The results obtained make it possible to affirm that a short period of time is enough to establish a good HAB between patients and therapy dogs. This study aims to contribute to the study of non-pharmacological interventions as a complement to pharmacological treatments in adolescents with mental health disorders.

Publication Title Animals
Volume 13
Issue 3
Pages 358
ISBN/ISSN 2076-2615
DOI 10.3390/ani13030358
Language English
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Animal-assisted therapies
  2. Hospitals
  3. Mental health and well-being
  4. open access
  5. Psychiatry and psychology
  6. youth
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  1. open access